First up, Dad update. So it turns out they are not going to be doing surgery, but he has started his treatment. The treatment consists of 2 months of hormone treatment where they arrest his testosterone. Apparently testosterone + prostate = cancer. I probably should have asked more questions about what types of hormones he will be getting, what it might do to him, etc. But I could tell that he was having a hard time with this part. My dad is kind of a manly dude. And I am sure most men would cower at the idea of having to take a bunch of hormones, which I assume probably consist mainly of estrogen. I think he was trying to be a good sport about it. He joked about how he might feel like learning how to cook now and I suggested he might enjoy dance lessons. But I think the comedy was really his way of dealing with the fact that he's probably not sure what will happen to him over the next two months. I am sure he is thinking 'will I still be me?'. To which I am certain the answer is yes. Hey maybe it will get him more in tune with me and he'll become a concerned and sensitive parent? Maybe that is just my hope of what it will do.
So after his two months of hormones he will have 5 months of radiation. Then he will have 18 months of chemo. It sounds like a pretty long and aggressive treatment. I guess the reason surgery isn't on the to do list is because of his Gleason score. With lower Gleason scores I think they just cut out that prostate sucker and toss him to the curb. A lot of doctors won't even recommend chemo or radiation. This is what happened to Pickle's dad. He just had surgery and now he's golden. Eventhough my dad's scans came back clear, the doctor suspects that there are microscopic cells out there just waiting to go nuts and start multiplying like crazy. This treatment plan will attack everything in his body, catching any of those hidden cells out there. They seem pretty positive that this course of treatment will put him in remission for about a decade, after which he has a 50% chance of a recurrance.
From what I understood talking to my dad, studies have shown that surgery in his case doesn't make a difference in outcome. Some doctors do it just because it's what they do. But it sounds like in his advanced case they would take the nerves. This is about the time my brain shut off. I realized we were talking about my dad's junk and how it would function and I just really don't need to be involved in that conversation. Shelly said something along the lines of "we're prepared to face any side effects" and then she went on to say something else. But my brain semi-registered that she was talking about them not being able to have sex.....(fingers in ears) Laa laa laaa. Don't need to hear about that.
Anyhoo, so that's the plan. I was e-mail chatting with Bret about it because she was inquiring as to how she could be supportive of me during this time. I told her the truth was that I am not scared or nervous or worried or any of the things that maybe I should be. My SMIL pointed out that it is probably a combination of the fact that my body has a natural protection going on, I am super experienced with the whole cancer treatment thing, and the fact that my relationship with my dad isn't typical. That is all probably true, and the fact that from what I have been told, there is very little chance that this is life threatening. In fact, no one has posed the issue that way. Maybe they are lying to me or omitting risks or whatever. But from what I have heard, prostate cancer is pretty treatable, even at my dad's level. If it had visibly spread to his bones, I think that would have meant something more serious, but this seems like a sure treatment. Again, maybe this is just what I am being told. In which case, you all know how I love living in an oblivious state.
Onward and upward, that is what I say.
In non-cancer-related news, I have officially given my belly button an ultimatum. I think I mentioned a while back about needing to schedule maternity photos, but being unsure of when exactly to do that. The problem is that my belly button hasn't been cooperating. It is like a donut hole and prevents my stomach from being fully round. It has slowly started to acquiesce, but it still has a good inch before it's flush. I can't just sit around though, what if it never makes it all the way? I am sure it will, but what if I am 40 seconds away from labor by that time? Anyway, I made the executive decision to schedule my maternity photos for February 6th and then I looked down at my belly button and told it "get on board mister!". I am not sure how much of a difference two weeks will make? Someone somewhere has probably written some sort of informative article about it....probably available on a site like Baby Center. But that would just make too much sense to go look for that. I know I'll grow about 2 cm between now and then. But what that means for my belly button, who can be sure? No matter what though, these pictures need to get taken.
I found this awesome photographer through Big Butter. He gave her a piano lesson a while back and he sent me her link saying how cool she was. When I first looked through her photos I wasn't even thinking about maternity photos. It wasn't until after I saw a few of the photos from my friend's maternity shoots that I started thinking how it would be neat to do something different. Maybe it is just me, but maternity photos all kind of look the same. Everyone does the "making your hands into a heart over your belly". Which is just so cute I could spit, but I also think it would be rad (yes I just used that word) to have something really unique.
I have been taking weekly belly photos....speaking of which I need to post the latest...so those can count towards my "normal" maternity shots. I am not too sure what exactly I have in mind yet. I love how she uses lots of old buildings and the urban landscape....oh here is her regular website. And I think it would be fun to do something a little retro-looking.
I am going to pull some outfit ideas together this weekend and spend Sunday with Andy's little sister. She is super fashionable and seems to have an eye for accessories. Also I kind of asked Rose (photographer) for something unique. I sent her an e-mail yesterday inquiring about whether it would be possible to get some shots taken with Lincoln. I think her studio is in downtown Denver, and for those who aren't aware the county of Denver has a Pit Bull ban. We live in the City, but are outside the county....it is this weird spot, but basically we are outside the ban area. I have actually seen quite a few dogs downtown that I would classify as Pit Bulls so I am not sure how thoroughly they enforce the ban. But Lincoln's recent situation has me wanting to throw caution to the wind and try to find a way to get some professional photos taken with him and my belly...hopefully he'll make it until Nugget arrives.
I figure if there is any time to test a ban, this is it. First of all, I think it is an okay justification should we be approached by a cop. It isn't like we are taking him into downtown to walk around and scare small children with his overly aggressive physique (hahaha). My plan is basically to drive him to her studio, walk him inside, then drive him back home. The chances of him being seen are super slight. Plus we can pretend we have no idea about the ban. We don't live down there. Absolute worse case scenario, they give us a court date and we have to go before a judge to try to talk them out of putting him down. Which...as you know is where this is headed anyway.
So if the photographer is up to doing a few shots with him, then I am going to take him into the groomer the Friday before and get my stud muffin looking extra special. I guess at this point the only thing that could change my mind is if he isn't feeling well by then. But he seems to be in pretty good spirits. His pills are really helping him and he is running around in the snow and playing with Coby using only his three legs like it is perfectly normal.....Maybe I am slipping a little back into Denial Land because I am definitely convinving myself that he's going to live for another 6 years. Ahhh how much I love being in Denial Land.
Anyway I am really excited about all the potential photos that will be coming out of the shoot. I hope there will be some really cute ones, some fun ones, some bad ass ones, and some snuggle ones with my pupster.